1 NATO Ally Might Wish It Never Bought the F-35 Stealth Fighter, nationalinterest.org

The U.S. ambassador to Denmark wants the Nordic country to buy more American-designed F-35 stealth fighters. […]

The Danes believed they could acquire and operate 27 F-35s — a number adequate to deploy four jets to a war zone for a year at a time every three years — for just $300 million per plane over the fleet’s whole lifetime.

But that was a hopelessly optimistic number. The Pentagon’s own internal assessment in 2016 estimated that the life-cycle cost for a single F-35 was $460 million.

The Danes also claimed that the F-35 is more heavily-armed than it actually is. “Up to six air-to-air missiles can be placed on the plane,” the experts wrote. That’s true, provided you’re talking about the stealth fighter’s external pylons. But to remain stealthy, the F-35 must carry its weapons in its internal bays. And at present, those bays can only accommodate two air-to-air missiles. […]

But more importantly, buying F-35s would make the Americans happy. “The Joint Strike Fighter is a result of America’s largest military collaborative program and has the potential for continued and long-term close military cooperation between the U.S. and several European countries in a situation where the U.S. security focus increasingly moved from Europe and the Middle East to Asia,” the experts wrote.

When it comes to the F-35 and U.S.-European defense collaboration, just one thing would make the Americans even happier. The Danes buying even more F-35s. Läs artikel